From 1885 to 1929, the Irish Parliamentary Party held the seat Liverpool Scotland in England.

Why did the Irish Parliamentary Party choose to contest a seat in England, and what factors contributed to their win? Did this constituency house a large Irish population? Did they ever contest any other seats?

I found this article but it focusses more on the biography of the MP than on the background of how an Irish nationalist represented an English seat.

  • My SWAG would be that this had to do with the Society of United Irishmen, and that perhaps a lot of Ulster Scots either came from this region, or had migrated down to this region for work when many of their compatriots had instead migrated to Ireland. Just a guess. – T.E.D. May 30 '17 at 19:54
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    @T.E.D. I thought the Ulster Scots were overwhelmingly Unionist. – gerrit May 30 '17 at 20:18
  • They were, recently. But according to that page the Society was founded by both them and Republican Irish. What I gathered from a glance was that the Scots-Irish were perhaps a lot more Republican-leaning back when non-Church of England protestant religions were being suppressed(?) – T.E.D. May 30 '17 at 21:22
  • The startling issue is that T. P. O'Connor was unopposed in the 1918, 1922, 1923, 1924 and 1929 elections, despite the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 creating the Irish Free State and removing the point of the Irish Parliamentary Party. – Henry May 31 '17 at 17:11
  • By this period 'the Ulster Scots' having been in Ireland for over 2 centuries did not call themselves Scots, but Irish Protestants and Unionists. They were less numerous as immigrants in Liverpool (or in Britain generally) than Irish Roman Catholics who tended to be 'Irish Nationalist' i.e. wanting autonomy or independence for Ireland, even if for economic reasons they sought work in Britain. There were and are parts of Britain with distinct Irish Catholic émigré communities, but Irish and Ulster Protestants in Britain were and are encountered as individuals rather than forming communities. – Timothy May 31 '17 at 17:36

The Liverpool Scotland constituency had a very large number of residents who had moved there from Ireland, fleeing the Great Hunger caused by potato blight. At the time, all of Ireland was part of the United Kingdom, so they were just moving to a different part of the state. The Great Hunger became a rallying point for Irish Nationalism, accounting for the election of an Irish Nationalist Member of Parliament.

Note that T. P. O'Connor was the MP for the whole of the Irish Nationalist period. Liverpool is still a notably Irish-influenced city.

The "Liverpool Scotland" name comes from Scotland Road, part of a turnpike route to Scotland, which lay at the centre of the constituency.

  • That's right! I remembered being told this as an aside about the history of Liverpool F.C., but couldn't quite find the details earlier. The club to this day has a rep for having Socialist supporters. – T.E.D. May 31 '17 at 1:56

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